tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current July 19, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
patriot, to be poe pro-american? the "daily beast" ran a great article today praising the president's ad where mitt romney sings "america the beautiful" over the images of the cayman islands and switzerland empty factories. the author noted that mitt romney and republicans and tea party patriots really embraced
the flag but then they turn around disrespect it by doing things that are decidedly unpatriotic. the author wrote being a good american means doing what's right in civic terms, not what you and your team of lawyers figure you can get away with. by this definition, romney is the un-american and it would be a glorious thing indeed if he became the pivot on which we turned to a definition of patriotism that rendered behavior like his appear roberious or disgraceful. selfishness is not patriotic so i ask you mitt, it is pro-american to take everything you can get away with like a $77,000 write-off for a dressage horse or place your money in a foreign country set up for secrecy so you don't have to pay taxes that would go for america's schools and roads? paying taxes is every american's
role for the privilege of living in america. not a good enough return for your tax dollars even when president reagan was president and you agreed 100% with his policies. america still wasn't good enough for your investment? investing in the caymans may be perfectly legal but is it patriotic? i'm just asking. in the same vain, is it pro-american to support policies that hurt america? like tax policies that reward and encourage offshoring of jobs? is it pro-american to encourage american-made industries like the auto industry to go bankrupt or give away clean energy jobs to china by not adopting our own incentives to keep and develop those jobs. is that patriotic? or are you aiding and abetting our economic enemies? that may not be your intent but that's the question.
is keeping secrets from americans patriotic? mitt romney is applying for the most powerful job in the world? can you imagine what a prospective employer would say to you if you refused to answer questions about your background, your finances or your experience and you just said i've told you everything you need to know. you wouldn't be hired! and neither should he! joining me now from washington is the author of that insightful, wonderful article today, "newsweek" "daily beast"'s special correspondent michael. welcome back inside "the war room." >> always a pleasure, governor. >> jennifer: so republicans have been attacking democrats for being un-american for decades. why is this charge striking such a nerve in this election? >> well, first of all romney has been saying this about obama in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways about obama's patriotism for months now. more than months, years. of course this all goes back to
the 2008 campaign and i think we all know about some of the things that governor palin said then. and you know, but what gets my goat is that romney talks about obama apologizing for america which he didn't do. and you know, that obama's policies are going to change america. this is not going to be the america we know. but now we have a new definition of patriotism and a new way to talk about patriotism and that's what i thought was the strength of that ad that obama made and i think it really does strike a cord with a lot of people that as i wrote in there, the line that you quoted, you know, it is not being a good american to take every tax break that you and your lawyers can get away with. >> jennifer: well, you say that the america the beautiful ad is changing the flow of a mighty river. let's take a look at the ad. i want to ask you a question on the back side. ♪ america america ♪ ♪ god shed his grace on thee ♪
♪ and crown thy good ♪ >> jennifer: so, michael, why is this ad a departure for a democratic president? >> democrats have never impugned republicans patriotism that i can ever remember. i've been doing this for awhile and i've been alive for awhile longer. i've been watching these races since i was a little kid in the late '60s. the republican has impugned the democrat's patriotism in some way or another. nixon did it about humphrey. reagan did it about carter. it was done about dukakis and clinton. he supposedly protested america overseas and so on and so forth. i don't remember a democrat ever doing it to a republican. probably not admittedly because democrats are superior human beings but just because democrats feel it is not going to stick because they're just not going to be able to make the
charge stick. now, here is a chance for a democrat to make it stick. >> jennifer: thank you for that. spoken like a true war room guest. there is another angle of this that appeared in the news in the past couple of days. michele bachmann, of course, former g.o.p. presidential candidate has come under a lot of heat from prominent republicans including senator mccain for suggesting a member of hillary clinton's staff huma abedin has ties to brotherhood. is that taking that too far? i would say it is. >> yes. it is crazy. it is so terribly irresponsible what she said. on the basis of i can't imagine -- there is no evidence. i know huma a little bit. there's no evidence of this sort of thing.ú i think she did so people like us would talk about her and visit her facebook page and she would get invited on fox and right wing shows more often. i notice glenn beck is standing up for her.
>> jennifer: exactly. we'll talk about that later in the show. you had another column out that said that the polls are really painting a dark picture for the president. we've been covering that a little bit on the show today. weak economic numbers driving swing voters to favor romney. from your perspective is there anything the obama camp should be doing to hold on to the swing voters? >> well, i think that they have to turn to talking about romney's plans for the country and what his tax plans would do. and what his support of the ryan budget would do. >> jennifer: going beyond bain. >> i'm not saying drop bain necessarily. i think the drumbeat on romney's tax returns should be kept alive and that pressure should be kept up. but i think you can make this two-pronged argument with regard to the tax plan and other things that romney has signed on to because i think explaining to swing voters what life might be
like if you give those people the keys to the -- >> jennifer: there is an echo here. we had bill burton on earlier and he was saying -- it should be a portion of the narrative going forward is telling people what it would be like under a president romney and the president started to do that in florida today talking about medicaid and medicare. let's talk quickly about veepstakes for a moment. you say that when mitt romney makes his choice, he's going to have to pander to his party's most extreme element. obviously that leaves condy rice out of the mix. last question, who, in your opinion, is going to be his best option? >> well, i've written that i think the best option on paper is mike huckabee. he's southern, he's baptist he's been around this track before. the press likes him. he passes the heart beat test very easily but i guess these two guys don't like each other. huckabee is not in the stakes at all which i don't understand why. i suppose it is probably going to be jindal or pawlenty or
portman which is what everyone says. i don't think any of them is an exciting choice. >> jennifer: well, i --endle is a little more exciting than pawlenty or portman or thune but we'll see i guess. thank you michael tomasky for coming inside "the war room." we always appreciate your insights. >> my pleasure. >> jennifer: up next we look inside the arguments we're hearing from the candidates and the ads we're seeing on tv. we'll get a look inside brett ehrlich's closet. >> not just because it is the mitt romney meter. don't go away.
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>> jennifer: okay, everybody. we're talking polls. latest polls as we've discussed provide some troubling news about the president's re-election campaign. check out this headline from "the new york times." economic fears hurting obama poll indicates. romney is leading in the times nationwide poll and 55% of americans disapprove of how the president is handling the economy. so even more telling i just want to share this with you. is this poll from the swing state of virginia. 13 electoral votes a state being inundated with political ads. in february, president obama led the favorability on this -- excuse me, led the poll 47% to 43%. it popped up in march. has come back down. he's now tied essentially. this troubling news undoubtedly
has the obama 2012 team devising new strategies in the war room. what to do and what not to. we called in pollster john whaley. john's vice president at hart research which contributes to nbc news and the "wall street journal"'s political polling. john, welcome back inside "the war room." a lot to get to. let's start right away with the next poll. first of all we've got mitt romney's unfavorability rating which i think is really interesting because that virginia poll has been flat and the national poll has his unfavorability going down. all of the money being spent both in virginia and nationally in swing states, what gives? >> in february and march you had the republican primary pummeled by his adversaries. that settled down now. especially in some of the swing states, which we knew were going to be close. >> jennifer: all of the talk
about bain capital and the money being spent and the discussion about the tax returns? irrelevant? >> not at all. in some of the swing states, we're seeing -- >> jennifer: we'll talk -- we're going to talk about it. hang on because i do want to give that information. this is a question that came from the -- the abc news "washington post" poll. this question about romney's work buying and restructuring companies. he's using it as a positive point or trying to. the obama team is using it as a negative point. that seems to be working because as a reason to oppose mitt romney now 32% see his work buying and restructuring as a reason to oppose and as thetron support, you can see that that dropped a little bit. >> right. you know when we would talk to voters -- they knew he was a businessman. in a bad economy that sounds like a positive. that was still very ambiguous. we do the polling for priorities u.s.a. and we have tracked the
strategy of this drip, drip, drip, define romney's business experience the negative side to that. we're seeing progress there because there is also a side of business where not everyone plays by the same rules and i think you've talked about some of that on your show tonight. >> jennifer: the defining of his business having some impact on his favorability. but if you look at this next number this, to me, is fascinating. if you look at this, registered voters, a recent poll. this is favorability issue related to how much the people are motivated to vote for a candidate by how much they hate the other guy. right? so for the president you've got 52% strongly support him because they like him. with mitt romney, only 29% like him. 37% hate the president. for a president only 8% of them don't like mitt romney. so isn't there a lot of room for
the president to pick up some votes right here? >> there are a couple of things going on. one is when i do focus groups with voters, this opposition to obama is intense. i'm not surprised by that 37% number. but for obama's voters, they're only just now getting to know mitt romney. they were not involved in the primaries. they have little reason to care for the most part. they know they like obama. they're not super happy with the job he's done on the economy. to the degree that obama and obama's super pacs can define romney as someone that they really should dislike and that works. >> jennifer: isn't that what the whole bain effort was? >> it is just getting started though. that's the whole -- we knew this race was going to be close. this sort of -- again this sort of steady, defining of mitt romney. again, most people are just getting to know who he is. >> jennifer: you do polling for priorities u.s.a.
we just had bill burton on the show. we all know what super pacs do. super pacs are there to put out the negative ads to drive this number up. meaning to drive mitt romney's -- the dislike of mitt romney up so people are feeling like they have no option. all right. the issue -- i want to end this on some hopeful news, right? so this is swing state polls is the collection of polls. the good news here is that the president leads in all of these except for the mighty state of florida. so all of these are obama except for that florida one. what can you tell us about the prospects of getting florida? >> well, our poll, a couple of weeks ago showed that obama was up slightly in florida so i think -- these are all within the margin of error. florida will be really tight. it has -- it will be tough for obama. the other ones especially ohio,
the negative -- the unfavorability ratings for romney, especially in the areas where the anti-bain ads are heavy, it is really, really high. >> jennifer: the bain ads are they effective in florida? or won't the message of medicare be more effective? >> you have to do both. obama is going to do sort of his more positive campaign. he'll have sort of the super pac come in with more negative on romney and you'll see how the two are together. >> jennifer: you have a poll coming out at the ind of this month. last question, what are you looking for? real quick. >> we've been tracking bain over the last couple of months. curious to see on a national level how that's playing because obviously most of the ads are in swing states but is that getting played out in the larger areas? >> jennifer: you'll come back and tell us about it i know. thank you, john whaley. up next, christine pelosi is going to talk about clinton
bachmann and guess which one would not be invited to christine's family dinner? we'll have that and much more coming up next. sir... excuse me, excuse me... can i get you to sign off on the johnson case... ♪ we built this city! ♪ don't let food hang around. ♪ on rock & roll! ♪ [ orbit trumpet plays ] clean it up with orbit! [ ding! ] fabulous! for a good clean feeling... eat. drink. chew orbit.
factories. left twix factory cascades caramel and chocolate onto cookie, while right twix factory flows caramel and chocolate onto cookie. today they share nothing but a wrapper and a driveway. try both and pick a side. >> jennifer: congresswoman michele bachmann weaseled her way back into the headlines by attacking huma abedin, aide to secretary of state clinton. she's loyal professional, kind, exactly the kind of person you would want to have as your right hand. she could be in charge. of course, bachmann and four other republican lawmakers accused her of being part of a muslim brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the u.s. government. everybody from john mccain to john boehner and even ed rollin's are all tearing their hair out. today in a post on foxnews.com ed rollins wrote having worked
for congressman bachmann's campaign for the president i'm fully aware she sometimes has difficulty with her facts but this is downright vicious and reaches the late senator joe mccarthy level. catch that? mccarthyism! but bachmann is not backing down. take a listen to what she had to say on the glenn beck show today. >> one thing that the government looks at are your associations and in particular, your family associations. and this applies to everyone. it would be the same that is true with me. if my family members were associated with hamas a terrorist organization, that alone could be sufficient to disqualify me from getting a security clearance. >> jennifer: there is a lot more that should have disqual filed her. has she gone completely off the deep end or just doing prep work for the next phase of her career? sarah palin version 2.0. joining me now to discuss michele bachmann and the other
political news of the day is christine pelosi. christine is the chair of the california democratic party women's caucus, welcome back inside "the war room." is she crazy? >> no, i think that john sununu in saying why can't he learn how to be an american, talking about president obama said something equally outrageous. we need not be sidetracked by michele bachmann. put the blame on mitt romney and the campaign he's running where he's trying to other barack obama. >> jennifer: un-american right? so today i'm going to cover a few subjects really fast because you have got deep insight into what's going on in washington. today, the senate republicans completely blocked a jobs bill. this was a jobs bill that we had debbie stabenow, senator debbie stabenow on the other night. take a listen to what she had to say about this jobs bill and the likelihood of republican support. >> as far as i'm concerned there should not be one republican no vote. there certainly won't be democrats opposing this. we should be together on this whole issue.
>> jennifer: this is a bill, christine, as you know, that provided incentives for jobs to come home and took away a tax break that companies were getting for moving jobs offshore. is common sense completely gone the way of the -- >> they voted no because they wanted one more chance to vote against obama care before they would vote on the tax credit but the fact of the matter is that led again by mitt romney, they have decided they want to use the tax code for their own benefit. if they believe in creating jobs in america then that's how they should vote. >> jennifer: it is completely crazy. i don't know how your mother has any hair left after not pulling it out. so very ingenious strategy was suggested this week which was that the democrats should just let the tax cuts expire, all of the republicans who signed newt gingrich's pledge about not raising taxes the tax cuts expire, they then vote on january 2nd say to cut the
taxes for the people under $250,000. do you think that has a likelihood of success? >> i think it has a better chance than expecting the republicans to break the promise they made to grover norquist. i'm concerned when people take a pledge for anything that's more important than the pledge they make to the constitution. and the fact of the matter is you have these republicans now who might be shifting a little bit. who might be open to that process because they'll say look i don't want to get the headache of getting a primary challenge. but the times have changed. two years ago, bob bennett lost a primary in utah. a couple of months ago orrin hatch won his primary. it may be the martini party is beating out the tea party. >> jennifer: that's interesting. do you think that will apply to issues related to -- what is known as the sequester the automatic cuts that will take effect because they couldn't otherwise get an agreement? do you think that is part of the cliff that will hopefully be
averted? because we've got republicans who may be making some sense? >> i hope so. we've had contradictory information coming out from the republicans. on the one hand, mitt romney says government doesn't create jobs but if you cut government spending, you'll cut jobs so which is it? the fact is the best thing that happened was putting defense cuts together. they were going to go off a cliff if work wasn't done. we still have to be concerned about the social programs and we have to make sure we do something -- >> jennifer: everybody keeps talking about the defense cuts but nobody is talking about the huge impact on social programs. >> we have to start talking about that and the people whose lives are impacted by the social programs also need to speak up. we're talking about head start and research scientists at nih who could be finding cures for cancer and a.i.d.s. this isn't a matter of saying we'll cut money for the poor or the military. this is cutting across the board for everybody. >> jennifer: elizabeth warren might be a speaker at the
democratic convention. are you excited? >> absolutely. i can't wait to hear elizabeth warren nancy pelosi, jennifer granholm. >> jennifer: i don't know about me. great to you have on as ever. thanks so much for joining us. all right. and coming up, brett ehrlich ends the day with a fashion show. you're watching "the war room" only on current tv.
>> jennifer: and now a visit to crazytown. okay, potential vice presidential candidate senator marco rubio went on national public radio and attacked government funding for national public radio. please, senator rubio we know you want to beef up your right wing credentials but leave the extreme insanity to michele bachmann. there's plenty of room in crazytown for the both of you. when you make a gaffe, you have to bite the bullet and deal with it. when your opponent is willing to take your words out of context and manufacture a gaffe out of thin air all you can hope for is brett ehrlich to get your back. shh, brett's talking now. >> president obama made the super controversial statement that everybody in america can use roads. >> if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. somebody invested in roads and
bridges. if you've got a business, you didn't build that. >> clearly at the end, the president is saying if you have a business, didn't you build the roads and bridges your business uses. you would have to be excuse me, a tea bag to take the president out of context. to say that steve jobs didn't build apple or henry ford didn't build ford. >> to say that steve jobs didn't build apple that, henry ford didn't ford motor it is insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in america. >> wow. can i get fired for that? maybe he said it once. realized it was a gross misrepresentation of the fact and walked it back. it is not like he would take that statement, put it on a t-shirt and then sell it for $20 on his web site, would he? oh my, he did! so many words! imagine showing that off to your friends. >> hey, do you like my new
shirt? pretty great huh? >> halfway. >> that's really clever. >> if i didn't know any better, i would say he was try hing desperately to distract from another trend in the media they've wishes would go away. >> will mitt romney made it to the convention without releasing his tax returns? >> the tax returns are a relevant window into how he conducts his business affairs. >> he should release the tax returns tomorrow. >> just releasing your stupid tax returns. >> i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: someone is always in our war room. check us out online at current.com/"the war room." you can check out our exclusive web extras. i always have to put a push on for the great tchotchkes that keep being sent to